The Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction
has five awards that are given to scholars and students
to recognize particular achievements.


2021-2022 SSSI Awards


George Herbert Mead Award

The George Herbert Mead Award Committee is given annually to recognise a scholar’s contribution to the field of symbolic interactionism. Decisions are made by a committee selected by the President of the Society.

The George Herbert Mead Award is given annually to recognize a scholar’s career contributions to the field of symbolic interactionism. 

Mead award nominations should include a letter of nomination from a current member of SSSI, two letters of support, and a current CV.  Nominators will be advised when the Award Committee has made a recommendation to the President, but the actual name will not be announced until the annual General Meeting and will subsequently be posted online.

2022 Selection Committee: 
Chair:  E Doyle McCarthy –
Committee members:  Gary Alan Fine –
Rebecca J. Erikson –

Winner 2022

Eviatar Zerubavel, Professor, Rutgers University

List of Past Winners


Charles Horton Cooley Book Award

The Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction announces its call for nominations for the Charles Horton Cooley Book Award. This award is given annually to an author for a book that represents an important contribution to the perspective of symbolic interaction. To be eligible for the award, a nominated book should have a publication date between the three years preceding publication. Previously nominated works within this three-year publication period remain eligible but must be re-nominated.

Nomination deadline: March 4, 2022. Copies of the books must be received by the committee by the deadline. If you are submitting a nomination for the Cooley Award, please ensure that you contact the publisher as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for copies of the books reach the committee. Electronic copies are permitted and are preferable where shipping will cause delays.  Nominated books must have been published within the three preceding years of the award (i.e. between March 2019 and March 2022).

Chair:   Anne Rawls – and Waverly Duck –

Committee:    Carole Gayet –;

Clemens Eisenmann –

Peter Manning –


Winner 2022

Michael J. Walker.

Indefinite: Doing Time in Jail

Oxford University Press.


List of Past Winners

Herbert Blumer Award for Best Graduate Student Paper


2022 Selection Committee: 
Chair: Alexander
Committee: Lisa-Jo van den Scott –
Michaela DeSoucey –


Winner 2022

Robert Scott (UC-Boulder), “A Social Phenomenon of Risk Perception: Saskatchewan Firefighters on the Yarnell Hill Fire Fatalities.”

Honorable Mention: Ken Hanson (Oregon) for “The Silicone Self: Examining Sexual Selfhood and Stigma within the Love and Sex Doll Community,” published in Symbolic Interaction


List of Past Winners



2022 Helena Lopata Mentor Excellence Award

The relationship between a student and a faculty member can have a profound, lifelong influence on both parties. Likewise, established and accomplished teacher-scholars can serve equally influential and encouraging roles for junior colleagues and provide crucial support for early and midcareer transitions. In sum, the mentoring relationship inspires, gives confidence, and culminates in valuable collegial relationships. The effective mentor serves as advisor, teacher, advocate, and role model. The SSSI Helena Lopata Mentor Excellence Award recognizes these important contributions to our society and craft.  Nominees must be members of SSSI to be eligible for this award. We seek nominees who show evidence of:

  • a sustained career as a beneficial role model;
  • a sustained record of mentoring students and junior colleagues in acquiring the skills and resources necessary for career success;
  • promoting successful and timely completion of students’ degree programs;
  • supporting attendance and participation at conferences;
  • imparting informed advice relating to career opportunities and choices;
  • establishing opportunities for networking and professional connections;
  • motivating students and junior colleagues about research and teaching activities;
  • helping students and junior colleagues develop a range of talents including skills in research, teaching, professional presentations, writing, preparation of grant and fellowship applications, etc.;
  • integrating students and junior colleagues into the broader culture of the SSSI.

All nominations should include (a) a letter of nomination and, (b) multiple letters of support, ideally from people with different mentoring relations with the candidate, that testify to a sustained career of outstanding mentorship.

2022 Selection Committee: 

Chair: Timothy Hallett –

Committee: Anne Groggel –

Jelani Ince – 


Winners 2022

David Schweingruber, Iowa State University


List of Past Winners


The Kathy Charmaz Early-In-Career Award

The SSSI Early-In-Career Award Committee recognizes junior scholars’ contribution to the field of symbolic interaction and potential. The award specifically honors those scholars who have made significant contributions within the first ten years since the completion of their PhDs. Nominations are made through support letters sent (by SSSI members) to the chair of the award committee. Support letters should include the following information: the candidate’s most noteworthy research and publications thus far; contributions to symbolic interaction; and the candidate’s CV.

This year, we are honored to rename the Early-in-Career award in memory of our dear colleague, Professor Kathy Charmaz (1939-2020), whose scholarship and generous mentorship of young scholars will have a lasting impact on the field of symbolic interaction.

2022 Selection Committee: 

Chair: Baptiste Brossard –

Committee:  Natalia Ruiz-Junco –;

J. Sumerau –


Winners 2022

Alexandra Vinson

Lisa-Jo Van Den Scott


List of Past Winners




SSSI Annual Meetings Distinguished Lecturers


Couch-Stone Symposium/The Qualitatives 2022, St John’s Newfoundland

Susie Scott (Sussex University)


Waverly Duck (University of California, Santa Barbara)


List of Past Distinguished Lecturers

(to be created)